Campus Ministry

Campus Ministry

Summer Camp for At-Risk Children in Poland

Kasia and Janek Mader were Polish college students volunteering 30 years ago in their country with orphans when they saw first-hand the poor conditions that at-risk children live with. Motivated to do something about it, they founded an orphanage in the rolling hills of Southern Poland and began working with at-risk children. Their program grew into what is today a model institution for the rest of Europe with a primary vision of fostering self-esteem and responsibility through love and stability. 

Canisius students will join in this vision by traveling to the town of Zmiaça for an unforgettable 3 week summer camp at at an orphanage that primarily serves orphans or children in foster care or ambulatory care. We will be arriving for the second half of the summer camp program which allows the children’s full-time caretakers to have a break. Canisius students will partner together with Polish university students to form small "families" in which we will live alongside a group of at-risk children of ages anywhere from 2 – 14 years old. Besides being with the children as they eat, sleep, hike, play, sports, do crafts and perform skits each day, we will also be responsible for morning English lessons, organizing large scale games at the camp (think World Cup!) and doing a dance performance on stage every night. On either end of our summer camp experience we will have a chance to explore Krakow.

To succeed on this trip YOU MUST LOVE KIDS! That is because you will be with them 24/7 in a "family" that might not include another English speaker.Because of the tight quarters, rigorous schedule and language barriers, this is an intense trip and requires a mature applicant--but it will capture your heart! This trip is another one of our most service-orientated experiences and typically runs for 3 weeks in mid-July through early August.

Applications can be downloaded here. They are due on Wednesday, October 12, 2016.

For more information, contact Alice Zicari at or 716-888-2488.